Nicholas sat on the large boulders that separated the tree line and the shore. Bowing his head and closing his eyes, he focused intently on the sound of the waves crashing and running up the sandbar. Loud, then hushed. Harsh, then soft. Then loud again.  Pushing all other thoughts aside, he focused on his breathing, matching it with the rhythm of the waves.  In. Out. He acclimated to their pulse, until he felt like even his heartbeat was in sync with their music. Every evening it was new. He had never noticed that before, the subtle differences in their nightly symphonies.  Then he opened his eyes and ran his bow across the strings of his violin. He joined in the song, his music filling the air, following the ocean’s lead. Emily had loved the water, the waves. And she had loved his violin. He wished she could hear it now, that she could be here.  When he played for the

ocean, she felt close. No longer just a memory, but present. And so he played his violin in the last rays of the sun, wishing the day well. As the dusk enveloped him, he closed his eyes once more and held one last note, letting the wind carry it out over the waves to the horizon. Then he fell silent and let several minutes pass, listening to the water once again.  The sky was almost dark when he opened his eyes. He turned to pack up his violin, but jumped when he saw the silhouette of someone sitting in the rocks a little ways down from him. He squinted, trying to make out the form. After several moments, he saw the figure rise and walk away.  It was a woman.  He continued putting his violin away, and when he looked up again, she was gone.  *** He sat at his dining room table, looking down at the notebook. It was…